Authorities are calling him the “H2O Bandit' – a thief who makes off with cash after distracting convenience store clerks by pouring water on floors.
According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, the suspect struck twice on Wednesday between 4 and 5 p.m. at businesses on N.C. 150 east of Lincolnton.
At Falls Quick Stop, the suspect entered the store and emptied several bottles of water on the floor in front of a cooler and told the clerk on duty there was a water spill.
While the clerk was cleaning up the spill, the man continued to talk to her but remained in front of the store, authorities said.
When she completed the clean up and returned to the counter, the man had left the store with about $350 in cash.
At the Country Corner Convenience Store, the man came into the business and went to the back of the store, where he dumped several bottles of water.
Authorities said the man placed the empty bottles under a cabinet and reported the spill to the clerk.
He tried to go behind the counter and was able to enter an “employees only” area near the office, but authorities don't believe anything was taken.
The suspect was described as a white male, 40 to 50 years old with brown hair. He was wearing blue athletic shorts and a long sleeve button-up shirt. The man was driving a white Ford Taurus with what appeared to be a 30-day tag.
Authorities said the suspect has also struck in Burke County.
Anyone with information should call the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office detective division at 704-736-8856 or Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.